Randomness and inductions from streaks: “Gambler’s fallacy” versus ”hot hand“
Sometimes people believe that a run of similar independent events will be broken (belief in thegambler’s fallacy) but, other times, that such a run will continue (belief in the hot hand). Both of these opposite inductions have been explained as being due to belief in a law of small numbers. We argue that one factor that distinguishes these phenomena is people’s beliefs about the randomness of the underlying process generating the events. We gave participants information about a streak of events but varied the scenarios in such a way that the mechanism generating the events should vary in how random the participants would judge it to be. A manipulation check confirmed our assumptions about the scenarios. We found that with less random scenarios, the participants were more likely to continue a streak.
- Ayton, P., Hunt, A. J., &Wright, G. (1989). Psychological conceptions of randomness.Journal of Behavioral Decision Making,2, 221–238. CrossRef
- Burns, B. D. (in press). Heuristics as beliefs and as behaviors: The adaptiveness of the “hot hand.”Cognitive Psychology.
- Falk, R., (1991). Randomness: An ill-defined but much needed concept.Journal of Behavioral Decision Making,4, 215–218. CrossRef
- Falk, R., &Konold, C. (1997). Making sense of randomness: Implicit encoding as a basis for judgment.Psychological Review,104, 301–318. CrossRef
- Fiorina, M. P. (1971). A note on probability matching and rational choice.Behavioral Science,16, 158–166. CrossRef
- Gigerenzer, G. (2000).Adaptive thinking: Rationality in the real world. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Gilovich, T., Vallone, R., &Tversky, A. (1985). The hot hand in basketball: On the misperception of random sequences.Cognitive Psychology,17, 295–314. CrossRef
- Kareev, Y. (1995). Positive bias in the perception of covariation.Psychological Review,102,490–5022. CrossRef
- Laplace, P.-S. (1951).A philosophical essay on probabilities (F. W. Truscott & F. L. Emory, Trans.). New York: Dover. (Oiginal work published 1814)
- Lunney, G. H. (1970). Using analysis of variance with a dichotomous dependent variable: An empirical study.Journal of Educational Measurement,7, 263–269. CrossRef
- McAuley, E., &Gross, J. B. (1983). tPerceptions of causality in sport: An application of the causal dimension scale.Journal of Sport Psychology,5, 72–76.
- Nickerson, R. S. (2002). The production and perception of randomness.Psychological Review,109, 330–357. CrossRef
- Rakison, D. H., &Poulin-Dubois, D. (2001). Developmental origin of the animate-inanimate distinction.Psychological Bulletin,127, 209–228. CrossRef
- Tune, G. S. (1964). Response preferences: A review of some relevant literature.Psychological Bulletin,61, 286–302. CrossRef
- Tversky, A., &Kahneman, D. (1971). Belief in the law of small numbers.Psychological Bulletin,2, 105–110. CrossRef
- Vulkan, N. (2000). An economic perspective on probability matching.Journal of Economic Surveys,14, 101–118. CrossRef
- Wagenaar, W. A., (1991). Randomness and randomizers: Maybe the problem is not so big.Journal of Behavioral Decision Making,4, 220–222. CrossRef
- Randomness and inductions from streaks: “Gambler’s fallacy” versus ”hot hand“
Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Volume 11, Issue 1 , pp 179-184
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links